If you’re like me, you find yourself lost and adrift. Half enraged, half sad, and against all reason, half hopeful.
It turns out, I don’t know how to write about the Sabres when they’re in the playoffs. If they’d played these last two games in the regular season, I’d write something ranging from, “GODDAMN IT, SABRES! PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER YOU MINCING LITTLE TURDS,” to, “The Sabres are making me sad and weary.”
But things are different in the playoffs. Even though the Sabres are FRUSTRATING ME TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION, deep down inside, I want to keep rooting for these little bastards. I don’t want to get too cranky, because they’re only down 2-1….and I love them. If they win tomorrow the series is tied up and they have home ice advantage again. Seriously now, this situation is not the end of the world. But I’ll admit, the Sabres do make me feel all the-end-is-nigh-y when I watch them play hockey. They looked terrrrible last night.
Basically, I’m feeling topsy-turvy and confused.
My feelings are so conflicted. I don’t want to attack the Sabres too viciously, because I want to be able to love them without reservation the NANOSECOND they stop sucking. I need to leave myself an out so that when they pull themselves together, I can rightfully say, “I loved them all along!” But even though I want to leave the door open for further Sabres lovin’, I ALSO WANT TO PERSONALLY STRANGLE THEM WITH MY BARE HANDS. I’m a mess.
I’m reminded of that plot device used in old cartoons, where the protagonist has a little angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. The angel is telling me to keep the faith, and the devil is telling me to turn on WGR and surrender to the soul-scorching frustration.
My angel and my devil have been at it all morning, and rather than attempt to write a nuanced interpretation of the game or my thoughts about the series so far, I think the best course of action is to simply transcribe these conversations. I’m way too confused for analysis.
Devil: WAKE UP
Angel: (gently) No, stay asleep! It’s your day off.
Devil: WAKE UP AND CLEAN THE HOUSE. HEY, REMEMBER THAT SABRES GAME FROM LAST NIGHT? THAT SUCKED, DIDN’T IT. I BET THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT IT ON THE RADIO. YOU SHOULD TURN ON THE RADIO.
Angel: Hush, Katebits. Don’t wake up. Stay in your cozy bed.
Katebits: (opens eyes) Damn it.
Advantage, Devil. Score: 1-0, Devil
Devil: WHAT is with the Sabres? Talk about a bunch of pusses. They let the Bruins completely manhandle them. Everyone should be fired!
Angel: It was only one game. The series is 2-1. There is still plenty of time for adjustments.
Devil: Adjustment?! Like a heart transplant? An injection of guts?
Angel: We’ve seen them play physically before. It can be done.
Devil: But the Sabres are weenies. All of them.
Angel: Not Steve Montador.
Katebits: Yeah! Not Steve Montador!
Devil: Okay, not Steve Montador, but ALL of the rest of them.
Katebits: (sadly) Yeah.
Advantage, draw. Score: 1-0 Devil
Angel: Chara is unbelieveably gross.
Katebits: I HATE THAT GUY SO MUCH.
Advantage, Angel. Score: 1-1 tie
Devil: The powerplay is an embarrassment.
Devil: Whoever is in charge of the power play should be fired….
Devil: …and executed
Advantage, Devil. Score: 2-1, Devil
Angel: The Sabres really haven’t had to deal with injuries this season and now they’re suddenly without Hecht and Vanek. This is a big deal. It’s true that they are having trouble adjusting, but it’s also true that there is still time to make adjustments. Everyone says Lindy is a great playoff coach. He’ll right the ship.
Devil: THAT IS BULLHONKY. Every team deals with injuries. If the Sabres can’t handle it, they stink.
Angel: But there is STILL TIME for them to handle it, and it’s a mental adjustment more than anything else. They played hard in game one, they can do it again.
Devil: I don’t think they can!
Katebits: They can.
Advantage, Angel. Score 2-2 tie
Devil: Tim Connolly and Derek Roy are COMPLETE sacks of poo.
Angel: Yes but…they’re under contract for the next million years. Wait…no! That’s not what I meant to say!
Devil: Ha! I got you!
Angel: No you didn’t.
Devil: Yes, I did. Connolly, Roy-Z, sacks of poo.
Angel: Well, sacks of poo aren’t all bad. You can sprinkle a sack of poo on your garden and it will help your flowers grow.
Katebits: While sacks of poo ARE useful in the garden, they are also affordable and readily available at Home Depot. I do NOT need to see sacks of poo skating around the ice in Sabres uniforms.
Advantage, Devil. Score: 3-2, Devil
Angel: The Sabres sucked donkey balls last night, but the Bruins only barrrrely beat them.
Devil: Oh, that’s because the Bruins aren’t that good at hockey.
Angel: Exactly! If the Sabres just adjust their game dial to “half suck” instead of “full suck,” they should be able to take this series.
Devil: You say that like “half suck” is an actual option.
Katebits: I’ll accept it. “Half suck” is admissible.
Advantage, Angel. Score: 3-3, tie
Devil: The game was in standard definition. The Sabres don’t even love you enough to provide their PLAYOFF games in HD.
Advantage, Devil. Score, 4-3, Devil
Devil: The Sabres are never scoring again, and Vanek will NEVER drill a blowhole, so he’s probably done for the season.
Angel: The Sabres CAN score!
Devil: Oh yeah? Which ones?
Angel: Um…Mike Grier?
Advantage, Devil. Score: 5-3, Devil
Devil: Miller really should have had that first Bruins goal last night.
Angel: (punches Devil in the face)
Advantage, Angel Score: 5-4, Devil
So, that’s where things sit. The Devil has a slight edge, but it’s sunny outside, and as soon as I get done writing this post I’m going to go sprinkle some Derek Roy and Tim Connolly organic fertilizer on my garden, so the day is looking up.
Keep fighting the good fight, angels.
Let’s go Buff-a-lo!